Europe’s traditional political order is breaking down. The public is no longer split between the traditional left and right; the divide is now liberals and internationalists against conservatives and nationalists, argues Wikistrat’s Nick Ottens in this report.
This new order is a challenge for political actors who have operated for decades in the old context. Christian and social democrats — long the mainstays of Western European democracy — find that they scarcely appeal to either of the new poles and are hemorrhaging support to greens, libertarians, nationalists and socialists. The trade unions are emptying. Courts and the institutions of the European Union are increasingly seen by one or more sides as in the cahoots of the other.
This has implications for businesses as well. The parties that are now in power have almost zero political capital for trade deals and more liberal immigration laws.
The challenge for Europe is finding a new center, including a social compact for the 21st century that generates a sense of shared prosperity. In the long term, parties probably will. In the short term, the economic interests of multinational corporations are going to have to take a backseat. Read More →